Grace and peace in the name of Christ to the people called United Methodist of the Western Jurisdiction.
We are the Mission Cabinet of the Western Jurisdiction, composed of your bishops, directors of connectional ministries, and leadership team chair. We speak to you out of a deep love for Christ and Christ’s Church, believing that the church should be “a home for all God’s people, gathered around a table of reconciliation and transformation.”1
It is after much prayer, study and discernment that we share with you that we believe that the One Church Plan is the best way forward for the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church. We stand with the Council of Bishops in their affirmation of this plan. We believe that this plan has the best potential to maximize the presence of United Methodist witness, allow for contextual differentiation, and balance an approach to different theological understandings of human sexuality with as much unity as possible.2
We are informed by Our Theological Task3 which reminds us that such work is critical and constructive, individual and communal, contextual and incarnational, and is essentially practical.
We claim this uniquely United Methodist process which requires us to stay in relationship and dialogue with God and one another every day as a sign of our faithfulness. As children of God, we have travelled together with Jesus Christ, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to a place of full inclusion of all persons in the fellowship and ministry of the church. We are committed to the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church now and as we move forward.
At the same time, we recognize that the Annual Conferences, clergy, churches, and other ministry settings we serve are not all of one mind about these matters. We affirm our unity in Christ and commit ourselves to living together as one body, though we do not all understand God’s will for the human family in the same way.
We believe this plan provides a vision big enough to hold the diversity that grows out of our theological task, creating generous space for us to live our conscience faithfully as we follow Jesus, holding to a covenant of mission that binds us together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky
Bishop Karen P. Oliveto
Bishop Melvin G. Talbert
Bishop Roy I. Sano
Bishop Elias G. Galvan
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
Bishop Beverly J. Shamana
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.
Rev. Donna M. L. Pritchard
Rev. Jorge Luiz Domingues
Rev. Myron Wingfield
Rev. David Valera
Rev. Lowell Greathouse
Rev. Carlo Rapanut
Rev. Youngsook Kang
1 Western Jurisdiction Vision Statement, adopted 2004. http://westernjurisdictionumc.org/about/vision-statement/
2Commission on a Way Forward Final Report, section on “Vision,” page 6 http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Properties/council-of-bishops/news_and_statements/documents/Way_Forward_Report_-_Final_-_ENGLISH.pdf
3 “Our Theological Task,” The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016, ¶ 105, Section 4, p. 81